Puerto Rico will receive more than $22.2M in U.S. Housing and Urban Development Emergency Solutions Grants targeted toward communities with high homeless populations or individuals at risk of becoming homeless.
The assignment is part of a global allocation of $2.96 billion to also help individuals at risk of becoming homeless because of hardships such as job loss, wage reduction, or illness due to COVID-19.
In a release, the federal agency confirmed that the funding will benefit Bayamón ($1,005,178), Caguas ($658,415), Carolina ($777,012), San Juan ($3,892,454) and Ponce ($975,723). Another 51 towns with fewer than 50,000 residents will split $14,951,925, the agency said.
“Homelessness was a major issue in some cities across our nation long before this pandemic occurred, and unfortunately the dire living conditions of our most vulnerable Americans left many without a home to isolate in or proper medical and healthcare resources to defend themselves against this invisible enemy,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
“This critical and timely additional CARES Act funding will provide much needed support for the homeless amid the coronavirus recovery and moving forward as we continue to work with our partners on innovative long term solutions to homelessness,“ said Denise Cleveland-Leggett, HUD southeast region administrator.
The allocated funding can be used to:
- Make more emergency shelters available for homeless individuals and families;
- Operate emergency shelters by providing food, rent, security, maintenance, repair, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, furnishings, and supplies necessary for their operation;
- Provide hotel/motel vouchers for homeless families and individuals;
- Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including childcare, education services, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation; and,
- Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.